ICAS 2006 - 25th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences; 3-8 Sep. 2006; Hamburg; Germany
Aircraft Communications and Navigation
Area navigation (RNAV) procedures are being implemented in the United States and around the world as part of a transition to a performance-based navigation system. These procedures are providing significant benefits and have also caused some human factors issues to emerge. Under sponsorship from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has undertaken a project to document RNAV-related human factors issues and propose areas for further consideration. The component focusing on RNAV Departure and Arrival Procedures involved discussions with expert users, a literature review, and a focused review of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) database. Issues were found to include aspects of air traffic control and airline procedures, aircraft systems, and procedure design. Major findings suggest the need for specific instrument procedure design guidelines that consider the effects of human performance. Ongoing industry and government activities to address air-ground communication terminology, design improvements, and chart-database commonality are strongly encouraged. A review of factors contributing to RNAV in-service errors would likely lead to improved system design and operational performance.